Often times, a democratic election turns into a popularity contest, not unlike American Idol in its hey-day, but rather than an actual vote regarding views and competence. And people will hurl venom at each other online over their preferred contestants. And that is exactly what is happening here in the Philippines. This is probably a side effect of the whole feudal system we've had since the 1600s, and is perpetuated in the modern semi-feudal democratic state, where your representatives aren't regular people but from the same ruling families from decades ago!
The following video clip is from one of my favourite TV shows, Band of Brothers, and illustrates my point nicely.
The Anti-administration find every little thing to complain about. And everything is a violation of human rights (valid or invalid), or some imagined version of human rights (such as holidays being moved to make longer weekends).
The Pro-administration find nothing to complain about, glory to Arstotzka. And to them everyone else is just sore about their team losing the election. Or they're paid by the opposition, or China or the US.
I think I got them about right in general. Outliers not included.
The state of the politics has always been such, but it has never been this intensely talked about. This is probably mostly because of the proliferation of internet access. In this push of pike of social media, it's always someone else's fault.
Take for example, the issue that inspired me to write this: today's protest outside the US Embassy. A video of it is circulating on social media, and it's easy to paint a scenario favourable to your point of view. The somewhat incomplete facts that I've found so far are the following: the protesters seem to have had no permit to protest, things seem to have gotten out of hand, the protesters threw paint at a police vehicle among other things, this police vehicle went berserk and hit a few people and ran over a few others.
In this situation, there are things that absolutely should not have happened such as the physical harm to people who were run over. Then there are the things that could have happened differently: Maybe if the protest was less unruly, maybe of they had a permit, maybe if the police van wasn't in the middle of the mess. There are so many unclear things at time of writing. Truthfully, I doubt we'll know what the full story is. We'll wait to see what the different versions of the truth come to say and piece them together as we always have to do these days with the lack of proper journalistic integrity and all.
But pointing fingers never gets anything done. Sure, we can deploy our strawmen en masse and gain the moral high ground. But what are you hoping to gain by trying to portray those who do not agree with you politically as inhuman? What are you hoping to gain by politicizing a tragedy? Likes? Would the kind of change you want to see arrive by using hashtags?
To the non-Christian, eh whatever man, I can't make you hold yourself to Biblical standards. Go watch the Youtube video above again. Major Winters is cool. You want change? Worship Tzeentch, and sprout feathers or something. #ChangeWeCanBelieveIn
We all want to fix our country. Stop pointing fingers at each other. Stop deploying strawmen battalions to improve your formations and win internet fights and sow division. That is the "Is" of our current situtation, but that is not how a democracy works. The "Should" is that we should talk to each other and we work together to fix problems.